Monday, February 4, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: SkyServer- Space Exploration Website

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey better known as the SkyServer is a rich website full of images from throughout the galaxy and beyond. The SkyServer aims to, in their words, "build the largest map in the history of the world." The project is supported by NASA, the US Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The galleries of famous places is one of the world's most extensive public galleries of space imagery. To date over 50 million images have been captured. The famous places gallery is a nice resource to use in conjunction with the Celestia space exploration simulator.

Applications for Educators
The SkyServer has a teachers section with an extensive list of lesson plans and materials appropriate for students i
n the upper elementary grades through high school. The "kids" section has information and activities students can access and learn from intuitively.
The image on the left came from the section on "famous places." The famous places section is a great place to visit in conjunction with a space explorer simulation like Celestia that I reviewed on Sunday.

Free Technology For Teachers: Make Diagramming Easy With Gliffy

Gliffy is a web-based drawing and diagramming program for use on Mac, PC, and Linux Systems. Gliffy can be used to make very simple to very complex technical drawings. The program offers many images and shapes to drag and drop into your drawings. Gliffy drawings are easily emailed and or embedded into the video below explains the Gliffy program.

Applications for Educators
Gliffy could be a great way to have visual learners draw a pictorial outline before writing an essay or giving a presentation. I have recently begun using Gliffy with some students who have struggled to write cohesive essays and their essay organization has improved. Compared to the drawing and graphing features in most presentation programs, Gliffy is an easier way to create graphs and drawings for use in presentations.

Free Technology For Teachers: Wicked Decent Learning - Podcast

Wicked Decent Learning is a series of Podcasts covering a variety of topics of interest to educators. The Podcasts are a bit long, but entertaining and informative none-the-less. Wicked Decent Learning is produced by two teachers in Maine. Click on the license plate to visit Wicked Decent Learning or listen to the most recent Podcast by clicking play.

Free Technology For Teachers: Free Art/ Drawing Software is a free drawing and artwork creation software. Offtype can be used online or downloaded and installed for free to be used on your desktop. You can try it out the program right on this blog or visit

Applications for Educators is a good program to use with younger students to introduce them to using a mouse and developing their fine motor skills.

Free Technology For Teachers: Global Geografia

Global Geografia is an Italian-based website full of useful resources for Geography and World Studies teachers. Global Geografia offers an index of global statistics (much like the CIA's World Fact Book), satellite imagery of the Earth and the solar system, photo albums, webcams from around the world, and most impressively 360 degree virtual tours of many famous places throughout the world.

Applications for Educators
Global Geografia is a useful, one-stop shopping style, resource for global statistics and images.

Free Technology For Teachers: Shoes for a Cause- Tom's Shoes

I try to refrain from using this blog to promote any commercial endeavors not related to education, but I have to share this one. Tom's shoes is a California based company that donates one pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair you purchase.
Check out how Tom's shoes does this in the video below.